Backyard Birds: June (Part 1)

2020_06_16__Backyard birding_0030

Apparently Baltimore orioles like to feast on grape jelly.

When summer rolls around, a familiar bird in our backyard is the Baltimore oriole pictured above. One glance at her beak as she zooms through the backyard is enough to tell you the oriole has recently enjoyed a taste of the grape jelly in the backyard buffet.

Hummingbirds, another common bird in Northeast Ohio during the summer months, are anatomically much better suited for sipping sugar water. Some sections of the country are visited by a much greater variety of hummers, but here, on the southern shore of Lake Erie, we only see the ruby-throat. On this male, you can see a faint hint of his ruby necklace.

 

2020_06_21_1824_0002

The Eastern bluebird is another summer resident, a favorite of mine, and a bird that we sometimes even see in colder months.. 2020_06_23__backyard birding_0001

Raising baby bluebirds can be a challenge for the parents. In the top left picture of the collage below, the little one is making a lot of noise, demanding his dried mealworms. They don’t look very appealing to me, but bluebirds love them, and this baby is hungry. Responding to his demands, Papa Bluebird picks up a mealworm from the ground and flies up to feed Junior. The last picture in the collage, shows Junior alone after his meal is over. It won’t be too long before they repeat the same routine. Mama Bluebird was nowhere to be seen when I took these pictures. Maybe Juniors demands wore her out, and she was taking a rest in the nesting box at our neighbor’s house when the little family lives when they are not flying around the neighborhood.

 

More bluebird pictures

2020_06_30__Backyard birding_0001

2020_06_27__untitled shoot_0019
Papa checking out the nest.

2020_06_27__untitled shoot_0018-2

2020_06_26__untitled shoot_0002
Baby Bluebird by himself.
2020_06_27__untitled shoot_0013
Papa carrying food or nesting material back to the nest.
2020_06_27__untitled shoot_0004
Young bluebird perched on top of the nesting box.
2020_06_27__untitled shoot_0019-2
Young male bluebird

Bluebirds enjoying the garden

Skip-95Skip-94Skip-93Skip-55

 

Pileated woodpecker

This large woodpecker is sometimes called the Woody Woodpecker bird because the familiar cartoon character is modeled after him. I can hear him coming because he loudly announces his arrival as he flies through the treetops and into our backyard. He is likely to arrive at any time of the day, and you would think that the cartoon Woody has jumped off the screen and come for a meal.

Skip-42

Skip-38
A pileated woodpecker staring hungrily at the bluebird’s mealworms. He may be hungry, but he’s a little large to help himself to the mealworms.

 

Thanks for stopping by today.

That’s it for this backyard bird post. Part two will be posted soon. If you like birds, come back to check it out!

Trailwalker (aka Skip)

 

Blipping daffodils…part 2

2020_04_15__Early Spring_0020

In my blip yesterday, I wrote about the possibility of a freeze overnight and what that might do to my daffs. Well, we did have a freeze. First thing this morning I asked Alexa for a weather report. When she said it was 32 degrees, I dressed warmly, picked up my camera, and headed out back to see how the daffs were doing. To my delight, they had survived the cold and were already beginning to perk up, as you can see from these pictures.

2020_04_15__Early Spring_0009
Three cheers for these resilient daffodils!

That could have been enough excitement for so early in the morning, but there was more to come. Waiting for my breakfast toast to pop up, I noticed a flash of blue outside the window. Bluebirds!!! Anyone who has followed my blog, will remember how excited I get when a bluebird appears at my backyard buffet. I picked up my camera which is always close at hand, but I was too slow and the bluebird vanished before I captured his picture. There was a handsome bluejay sitting among the daffodils, but what I really wanted was at least one photo of a bluebird. Disappointed, I went back to munching on my morning toast.

2020_04_15__Early Spring_0035

And then, almost magically, the bluebird reappeared. This time Bob spotted it, and I got my photo opp of the day: Several of them in fact!

2020_04_15__Early Spring_0046

2020_04_15__Early Spring_00462020_04_15__Early Spring_0049

2020_04_15__Early Spring_0047
Yay! I caught him in flight, Truly amazing!

To top off the morning’s photoshoot, a rosy-red house finch posed for his portrait!

2020_04_15__Early Spring_0036

As my British photographer friends on Blipfoto might say, I was chuffed!*

*Chuffed: slang for pleased, delighted; flattered; very excited

That’s it for this blog post. I’ll be back in a few days with another post, and I hope you will join me.

See you then!
Trail Walker (aka Skip)

 

 

Backyard birdy

At the end of an off-and-on rainy Sunday afternoon, just as I was watching out the kitchen window, this little finch popped in for a bite to eat. The weather has been variable today. Neither people nor wildlife knew what was going to come at them next, so most of the day they sheltered in dry quarters.

2020_03_29__untitled shoot_0001

Of course, because of Covid-19, there weren’t too many places the people could go, and the birds apparently weren’t keen on the weather. Maybe tomorrow the sun will shine.

2020_03_29__untitled shoot_0002

Thanks for braving the uncertain weather and visiting me today.

See you soon!
Trail Walker (aka Carolyn)

 

Hats, gloves, and scarves!

2019_11_16__November 2019_0053Gingko
Young deer by the picnic shelter

 

Hello trail walkers! In my last post, I told you that the time has come to open the closet and sort out my hats, gloves, and hand warmers if I intend to continue trail walking, now that early Autumn has morphed into chilly winter weather.  Last week we experienced our first snowfall, a real one that required boots, and stayed on the ground for three days. Most of the trees have lost their leaves, and even the wildlife is feeling the pinch of winter. Although our park rangers frown on walkers doling out treats, a man I passed on the trail today told me the chickadees and titmice were following him down the trail, complaining loudly because he hadn’t brought enough seeds to share, and his pockets were empty.

A few of the pictures in this post are from Chagrin River Park, although most of them were taken in our yard.

2019_11_16__November 2019_0051Gingko
I photographed these leaves again this week because I can’t resist the color.
2019_11_16__November 2019_0042Gingko
It was easy to spot this cardinal when it landed in a tree next to the trail.

The birds in our neighborhood were happy that I had replenished the food supply in their back yard buffet. (Click on any picture below  to see a larger version)

It was chilly on the trail today;
It’s time to order some handwarmers!

Skip aka Trailwalker

Special backyard visitors…

2019_10_26__untitled shoot_0013

A pair of bluebirds made my heart happy today! I haven’t seen a sign of either one in months,  and I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw him sitting on top of the nesting box this morning.

And then she joined him and together they checked out the neighborhood.

2019_10_26__untitled shoot_0010

She peered into the nest, and I wondered if she would approve of what she saw inside.

2019_10_26__untitled shoot_0011

Disappearing inside to take a better look around, she inspected the box while he perched on top to survey the neighborhood, maybe keeping an eye out for the marauding neighborhood cat.

2019_10_26__untitled shoot_0012

She climbed inside the nest, leaving him standing watch on the rooftop.

2019_10_26__untitled shoot_0008

We put up this new bluebird box six months ago, hoping a pair of bluebirds would move in and raise their young where we could enjoy their family shenanigans. Unfortunately, shortly after the new box was installed some aggressive house sparrows moved in and chased the bluebirds away.

But today the bluebirds returned for another look at the box. After Mrs. B. completed her inspection, they both flew away, so I have no idea what her decision was. For now, I’m just going to keep my fingers crossed, hoping they will return. Meanwhile, as I said, it made my heart happy to see them in our backyard today.

That’s all the neighborhood news for now.
See you in a few days.
Trail Walker (aka Skip)

An abrupt change

2019_10_15__untitled shoot_0002
The blue jay landed, but didn’t hang around for long, just long enough for me to get one good shot. Then he took off, and was replaced by a woodpecker.

 


…who posed long enough for us to see the red feathered “cap” on top of his head. Apparently he is proud of the bright red feathers, and just wants us to know he’s the king of the backyard birds…at least for a moment or two.

That’s it for today’s backyard birding. We’ve been blessed with a long stretch of sunny weather and crisp air, but the weather made an abrupt change overnight from sunshiny days and a lovely full moon in the evening, to cool drizzly weather.  Although the change was sudden (and not altogether welcome), I’m holding out hope for more of October’s bright blue weather.

‘Bye for now!
~Trail Walker

PS I almost forgot to mention that I posted some pictures from Sunday’s trail walk on my website. You can see them here. The Autumn colors were great. After the walk, we all went out for pizza. A nice ending to the weekend.

Happy hummers

2019_08_22__Summer 2019_0059
Unlike many backyard birders, I don’t often see multiple hummingbirds when I look out the kitchen window. This month has been different, and today was a really lucky day.

Enjoy the happy hummers and a couple of misfits at the end of today’s post.

And now for today’s surprises…

2019_08_20__Summer 2019_00332019_08_20__Summer 2019_00342019_08_20__Summer 2019_0056

That’s it for today’s backyard birding post.
See you soon!

~Trail Walker

An abundance of pileated woodpeckers

2019_08_07__Summer 2019_0239

For the past month, these Woody Woodpecker look-alikes have been regularly visiting the trees in our backyard. They’re not nesting here, but every day, morning, noon, and night, they fly in, help themselves to the woodpecker blocks and suet cakes, and provide us with entertainment. Just look at this pair. I’m no woodpecker expert, but I am guessing, from their behavior, that they are juvenile woodpeckers.

I’m not sure if they are playing, attacking each other, or maybe engaging in some kind of romantic ritual. Hopefully someone can explain it so we will all know.

2019_08_07__Summer 2019_03032019_08_07__Summer 2019_0286

When I watch them cavort from tree to tree, I’m reminded of my days as a middle-school teacher. There’s never a dull moment!

2019_08_07__Summer 2019_0167

Enjoy their antics as you watch this slide show. Some of their expressions are hilarious…

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

That’s it for today’s backyard birding post. I hope you enjoyed your visit.

See you soon!
Trail Walker

Rainy days

Rain, rain, go away
Come again some other day.
Little Johnny wants to play.

Running through my head repeatedly, that rhyme, remembered from my childhood, couldn’t be more true to the way I feel about April…and now May! Little Johnny and Little Sally would like the rain to stop and the temperature to warm up so they can put on their shorts and sandals and go out to play. And Little Carolyn would like to get outside to take trail walks and play with her camera.

We have had so much rain recently that the ducks and geese have turned our swampy back yard into their personal swimming pool. Mowing the rapidly growing grass has been almost impossible, but the geese and ducks are loving it! Take a look!

First a pair of geese landed. Together they wandered through the wet grass.


And if it’s possible, the mallards are even happier than the geese. They wander through the grass, swim in the large puddles, and don’t mind the mud at all. I didn’t get any pictures of the actual swimming yet, but trust me, it really happens, and they love it. Every year this pair of mallards returns to our neighborhood, and we smile to see them. It’s almost as if they are coming back to their favorite vacation resort: plenty of water for swimming, green grass galore, and no lack of tasty food. We provide everything a duck would love. Is it any wonder they return year after year?

That’s it for this blog post.
Thanks for stopping by to catch up on the backyard news!
Trail Walker

Three of a kind

I’m always surprised when the pileated woodpecker appears at the backyard feeder. His visits haven’t been very regular since last fall when we had to cut down the tall tree he liked to land on when he flew in. After landing on the tall oak tree, he and his mate would often fly across our backyard and stop on the fruit trees in our neighbor’s yard, close enough for a really good photo opp. Unfortunately, our neighbors had to cut down both their apple and cherry trees a few years ago, which is probably why we see the pileated pair less often.  Some people refer to the pileated as the Woody Woodpecker bird because he looks just like the cartoon bird. He likes suet, as he is demonstrating here. He also likes the large (woodpecker-sized) seed blocks, and sometimes he will fly in and land on top of the hopper-feeder.

The pileated, a very large insect-eating bird, is native to North America and is described as “a mostly sedentary inhabitant of deciduous forests in eastern North America, the Great Lakes, the boreal forests of Canada, and parts of the Pacific coast.” Some of my blog readers may have seen them in their backyards. (If you have, please let us know in the comment section). The bird in today’s picture is a male, easily identified by the red mustache on his face.

That’s it for today’s post.
Hope to see you soon.
Trail Walker

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: